This week the Mayor of London has announced his plans to introduce a Violence Reduction Unit in London, a scheme piloted in Glasgow to reduce the number of violent crimes.
The scheme addresses violent crime as a public health issue and in doing so seeks to create a multi-agency approach that specialises in early intervention. The project has been launched with £500,000 worth of funding and will be working with schools, healthcare professionals, local councils and the police to try and divert young people from a life of crime, in particular violent crime.
The idea is for agencies to work together and tackle some of the key underlying issues which often lead to violent crime such as mental health, poverty, and domestic abuse.
This project is going to run alongside the Mayors Violent Crime Taskforce and the already established £45 million Young Londoners Fund which was established to provide young people with alternatives to crime.
Sadiq Khan said: "The causes of violent crime are many years in the making and the solutions will take time. That's why our new approach is focusing over the long term.
"This unit is not a substitute for the investment our public services need if London is to significantly cut levels of violent crime."
Jon Cruddas MP echoed the Mayors sentiments: “the knife crime epidemic isn’t going to be solved overnight, and it’s important for residents to understand that in Dagenham and Rainham. I welcome this initiative which proved successful in Glasgow, contributing to a 47 per cent drop in homicides between 2006-7 and 2016-17.”
The initiative was introduced to Glasgow in 2005 and violent crime dropped significantly over a ten year period from 2007 to 2017. In 2016/17 no one under 20 years old was killed as a result of knife crime in Scotland.
Jon added: “Sadiq is spot on when he says that the reasons behind violent crime are multidimensional, and that is why we need a long term solution that brings together professionals from across sectors. However, there is still a shortfall when it comes to funding and that is why I am campaigning for more investment in the Met – the government needs to step up and support our police and invest more in initiatives like this.”
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